“Patrick” popped up as a match, and I clicked thumbs up.

His profile had only two grainy pictures, but he appeared to be handsome ― smiling right through to me while sitting on a motorcycle ― and in another close-up he was squinting slightly in the sun.

He was eager to communicate right away, which was different from the other matches I’d made on this dating site. I cringed a little at his grammatical errors in those first few messages, but they didn’t really matter because soon we were talking on the phone.

His raspy voice didn’t seem to match his suave appearance in photos, but it was magnetic all the same. He asked a lot of questions about me, which I found flattering. I told him I was recently divorced with two kids. I had a cool little red convertible that I liked to drive along the lake. I was a freelance writer with a lot of projects happening.

I might have been just a little cocky.

The divorce, two kids and little red convertible were all true ― but it was also true that I had just lost my 9-5 job and was barely making ends meet.

What I needed more than a boyfriend was a steady job.

I was powering through on a manufactured cloud of positive thinking instead of facing the pain of both a failed marriage and my sudden job loss. But I didn’t tell Patrick that. I was on a self-imposed campaign to be an unstoppable, successful and independent woman, and I was trying to manifest good things in my life by changing my mindset and reciting affirmations. I had…

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